Definitive Guide To Email Marketing [A Step-By-Step Approach]

Definitive Guide To Email Marketing [A Step-By-Step Approach]

As a business owner, for you to get continuous sales from your acquired customers, generate leads from website visitors, maintain a good rapport and foster effective communication.

Email marketing is the only best possible method through which you can achieve these objectives.

And also aids a million ways in the promotion of your products online.

This guide covers all you need to know from A-Z about email marketing, and how you can carry out a successful email marketing campaign.

With all the basic needs and strategies in email marketing, you need to employ for quick wins.

Even if you desire to be a king in Email Marketing, this guide will teach give you a head-start on how to be an expert in Email Marketing.

Most business owners, especially start-ups deliberately ignore email marketing and invest their time and money exclusively on social media campaigns and PPC ads.

Hey, listen to me,

Winning prospects through social media and Search Engine Marketing is good, converting to sales through remarketing and funnel technique is better.

But;

Nurturing and retention of customers for life, using email marketing is the BEST!

As of 2017, there are about 3.7 billion global email users. And this number is set to skyrocket to 4.3 billion in 2022. (statista)

Although being the oldest forms of digital marketing, Email marketing and has the most ROI on any advertising budget spent.

According to Salesforce Email marketing has an average ROI of over 3,800%.  For every $1 invested, the average return is $38.

Email marketing guide - processes

 

Without any further fuss let me dive in a bit into the benefits of email marketing:

Benefits of Email marketing

  • Very easy to set up. It doesn’t necessarily require much technical effort and coding skill to get an email campaign running.
  • Lower costs and high return in marketing to thousands of people (email subscribers) at a time.
  • Serves as a means to reach those who have already engaged or interested in your business and offers.
  • Used in delivering messages to targeted prospects.
  • Enables easy tracking and measurement of advertisement campaigns.
  • You do not just reach a global audience using email marketing, but you reach segmented individuals with interest.
  • Email marketing campaign results are instant, unlike other marketing techniques which you have to wait for about weeks or months to see results.

In fact, email marketing isn’t dead yet in today’s ever-changing world, rather it will continue to stand the test of time and remain effective in so many sectors and businesses.

 

Here are the step-by-step processes of setting up an Email marketing campaign:

  1. Identify your goals

Let me assume that you already have an established platform where you will gather an audience or where people usually come to get information.

This platform might be an online forum, Facebook (group, page), events, webinar, Blog or website.

Why must you have a platform before starting email marketing?

This I will explain later in this post, but for now, you need to have a motive for setting up an email marketing campaign.

Goal setting is the first step to a successful and a purposeful life, and not just in email marketing alone.

Setting goals will mark your point towards a productive life.

Email marketing guide: problem with not settling a goal

The above quotation also applies in email marketing, when you don’t have a specific goal you desire to reach you just end up in a state of mayhem, not knowing what and which task to execute.

Here you evaluate and identify the need for email marketing. This is the most crucial part of your email marketing setup.

It’s worth doing because; identifying your goals is dependent on the type of result you would get from this digital marketing technique.

This is the stage you will map out the type of emails you send and audiences to send them to.

I recommend you to use the 80/20 rule in planning; 80% of the results will arrive from 20% of the action.

Where then is the action?

So, use 80% of your time to plan and 20% to execute. This will make other tasks much softer for you.

Now that you’ve properly established your email marketing goals, let us move on to the next step of getting a good email marketing platform.

 

  1. Get a good email marketing platform

Email marketing platforms

There are several marketing tools now in the market with different service offers, but signing up with the one with a better and affordable offer could sometimes be a stiff research task.

When it comes to choosing an email marketing platform you should go for a better deal that has a flexible user experience with an amazing specification.

You should go for an Email marketing software with great features, user-friendly and can be used for any kind of business.

An email marketing service will enable you to setup, segment, automate and track your emails and will also help provide advanced features that will make your email marketing campaign deliverability much simpler.

That should be the kind if Email software you should sort after.

Things to consider when choosing an Email Marketing Service Provider:

  • Training: Getting along with some these tools will always be difficult to understand, but thanks to few of these EMSPs that provides video training and tutorials on how to utilize these tools.
  • Support: Get to know which EMSP provides a 24/7 customer support facilities in case of issues. This is a very crucial factor that requires a high level of consideration
  • Simplicity and ease of use: Avoid a platform with complexity, so you can easily navigate and set things up quickly.
  • Pricing: if you’re a small business owner, I will advise you to start with a cheap or free email marketing software. But be ready for an upgrade as you expand.
  • Free trial availability (at least 30-90 free) so as to test and know which suits your techie nature.
  • Ability to segment list: This is needed for slicing and dicing your email database so you can tailor each mail to suit a particular set of audience. Your audience needs and purchase cycle differs.
  • Regulatory compliance support: Your chosen email provider should help you comply with CAN-SPAM act via their terms of use policy.
  • Autoresponder capability: This functionality helps you engage your email list by sending sequences of emails automatically when a subscriber completes an event.

 

There are more required aspects you need to into consideration when choosing an EMSP, but the above are the fundamental ones.

If your email marketing tool has up to 80% of these functionalities, then you’re on the winning side.

I urge you to take a look at the top marketing email marketing tools so you can know which suits your need.

 

  1. Create a sharp opt-in form

This is where you design a layout where you actually state the reason why you want to collect peoples email address.

Don’t flinch yet because you hear the word “design”, actually, this is as easy as saying “jack”.

What you’ll do here is just to change colors, fonts and form shapes to your desired style.

The templates are already available for you. Services like Optinmoster and Mailmunch made the job easier.

Telling people that you need their email address for future updates or whatsoever, is an outdated a very boring form of telling individuals to opt-in to your mailing list.

The only effective method that most businesses and onlinepreneurs use in capturing leads that will surely convert to sales is by offering a high-valued content.

Now your aim is to create a great content that your potential subscribers will never hesitate to hand over their email addresses to you.

This content is called a “Lead magnet

Take a look below and see an example of a lead magnet which Brian Dean of Backlinko uses in building up his email list:

Lead magnet example by Khrisdigital

Another unique means is by offering an incentive using the Gated content approach.

The incentive might be a Guide on how to perform a specific task, a checklist on a particular subject matter or a video content.

There are also diverse method and ways you can get email subscribers, but not the black-hat method. You have to get users consent before adding them to your email list.

This is solely the reason behind opt-in forms.

But this opt-in form can’t just appear on its own, they need an underlying platform like Blogs and Websites which will serve as a resource point where potential subscribers could get quality contents.

This is the main essence of having a platform

These are basic practices to consider when creating an opt-in form that will compel users to give out their email address.

They include:

  • Telling them what to expect
  • Saying something more engaging than just “SUBSCRIBE
  • Use social proof
  • Adding a privacy statement to your opt-in form
  • Your opt-in form color should match to your brand color

It is time to get down to the main part where we begin to build our email list and initiate most of the basic email marketing activities.

 

  1. Build your email list

Once you have competently followed the preceding steps up to this point, then you’re 50% done in setting up your email marketing campaign.

The part of building your email list entails a lot of prerequisites, some of which I have already covered in step No. 3 above.

Building an email list is an inevitable practice in email marketing.

It’s a “must-have” skill and you need to master it to build a pretty large audience for your entrepreneurial success.

List building carries almost 30% of the whole email marketing process.

There are quiet couples of ways involved in building a mailing list, but a given strategy is dependent on the type of goal you had established in step 1.

The two most common ways of building email lists are:

1) Importing a list of known contact:

This is often carried out when you’re already in possession of email addresses of existing customers.

Here your email list can be chiefly built by importing the details of your customers into any marketing tool chosen in step 2.

You can upload or import contacts in a CSV format into an email marketing platform.

There are guidelines on how to import contacts on any of the marketing tools you have chosen, check their tutorial section for this.

Please listen carefully,

Before you import any contacts, however, be certain that there is adequate permission granted by these individuals.

2) Building a list a fresh:

You start this when you need to start building a new list from the scratch, especially to audience that wants to receive your mails or have interest in your offers.

This method of building an email list is the most viable and recommended type, mostly applied by email marketing experts.

It also requires a lot of tactics to successfully get a favorable outcome from this method.

Here is a logical formula approved by campaign monitor to help you get a huge email list:

how to build an email list

Just like what I talked about on the previous step, you need a compelling content and any of the following kind of incentive to entice people to your mailing list.

  • Free piece of content
  • Discount or coupon
  • Templates
  • Case studies
  • Video contents/course
  • Graphical giveaway i.e Infographic

Apart from websites and blogs, you can also build your email from social media, webinar forums and guest posts.

Your email lists can make you become a millionaire overnight!

Your lists are people who trust and believe in you. Sell to them at your convenience.

  1. Start sending high-quality contents to your list

Have you ever subscribed to any of your favorite blogs’ updates, then you are being asked to check your mail for activation or either way received a welcome message for subscribing?

Such message implies that you’ve been added to their mailing list and will keep getting weekly or monthly emails from that blogs’ post updates.

Immediately you get a new contact added to your list, for professionalism sake, it is expected of you to fire off a welcome email to the subscriber.

And this should be done within the span of 1-5 minutes.

This is when your new subscribers are expecting to hear from you and are more energized about your business or offer.

Almost most the EMSPs enables autoresponder functionality, whereby an email is automatically sent to a subscriber when a particular event has been evoked.

In a case whereby a user signed-up just to have access to an e-book or a resource, make sure you include the link to that content in welcome email.

After the welcome email what else?

Most email marketers usually get things wrong when they get to this point, then having;

  • Low open rate to their email
  • Steady unsubscribing of the audience from their list
  • Mail marked as spam. A repetitive action might lead to your mailing account being suspended.

Now is the time to start sending regular contents to your subscribers, providing tons of value, follow CAN-SPAM regulations and also nurture your list to consistently click and engage with your emails.

Tips on how writing high-quality email copy

  • Keep it short and simple by sticking to the point
  • Always provide value and avoid constant promotional emails
  • Make your copy skimmable
  • Personalize to get cordial
  • Connect with a sense of humor
  • Make your CTA clear and easily identifiable

 

  1. Segment your list

You wouldn’t want to send the same email to a prospect that has left the checkout page of your e-commerce store and to a prospect that left the site after viewing the product page.

The segmentation part is much relevant to your email marketing activity when you have built a pretty much email list and started getting enough traction from your email marketing strategies.

You have to divide your mailing list into a bunch of smaller lists or segments, based on certain criteria that you wish.

Customer funnel journey, preferences and so on.

Your list can be segmented into the following slices:

email list segmentation

  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Engagement level
  • Geography
  • Website activity
  • Purchase history etc.

Most bloggers often ignore this part of email marketing, because they feel that list segmentation is only needed by online store owners.

Such an idea is totally wrong!

As a blogger segmenting your email list is as vital as hunting for readers who will consume your contents.

WHY?

Because most of them had never read your mails for once, or some might have opened but no engagement.

You need to segment your list so that you differentiate between these set of individuals and map out a strategy to engage these look warmed subscribers.

Maybe by fine-tuning your title, offering an incentive or send a more casual but friendly message that is out of the normal context.

This also helps you in weeding out dormant and unsubscribed users.

 

  1. Test and make edits

Test and make edits of email copy

What are the essence of developing an email campaign up to this level and your copies appears so graceless and despicable with shredded looking texts to your subscribers?

It’s not worth is at all, it would have been better you never sent the mail than ruining your reputation and marketing tactics.

Your recipients are likely to ignore and unsubscribe from your mailing services just because you have refused to test your email copies and make the necessary edits.

Before you start sending out those carefully crafted newsletters, adverts, promos and content notification to your audience…

Please and please complete these email checklists:

  • Is your subject line the right length?
  • Have you tested your email across different platforms?
  • Are you sending to the correct list?
  • Is your email responsive?
  • Have you fixed all grammatical errors?

This step is crucial to your success as a business owner or as a marketer.

If your mail looks like garbage, invariably it will be treated like one.

At the end of the testing and editing, you should be satisfied with achieving a final email copy that is perfect for every of your audience.

And the most important of it all, impeccable and highly fruitful for your business.

 

  1. Measure and analyze your results

Constant tracking of your email marketing efforts enables you to know if there is progress or you’re just pouring water into an empty basket.

Email marketing guide: email marketing report

Measuring your email campaigns is the surest way to quantify the success of those campaigns.

This gives you wowing insights you can use to better your results.

With such insights, you can understand how people are interacting with your email campaigns using a lot of metrics.

These metrics give you a clear overview of those who opened your email, clicked on your link attached, and what action they actually performed on your website after clicking on your link.

You have to frequently examine and amend your email marketing strategies, the earlier the better for you.

By finding out the negative factors affecting your email marketing activities on time, you will be able to “RECTIFY’ the needed so to meet your objectives.

Metrics to measure during your email marketing campaign are:

  • Open Rate
  • Click Through Rate (CTR)
  • Unsubscribe Rate
  • Conversion Rate
  • Bounce Rate
  • Campaign ROI
  • Forward/Share Rate
  • Compliant Rate

To measure and analyze your results you need a web analytics tool like Google Analytics properly installed on your website.

Then integrate your EMSP to GA. You will now be able to see all your desired metrics.

According to optinmonster, focusing on the right metrics will help you analyze and improve a lot better in your email techniques.

They said:

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of maintaining a robust email marketing strategy, or the value of the marketing metrics you use to maintain it. – Optinmonster

 

Email Marketing Guide: Conclusion 

You are already aware that email marketing drives revenue and increases sales for your business.

A very powerful digital marketing technique indeed!

This is never an ending process; you should continually build your list and carry out most of the above steps until you get to the peak of the game.

Here is the Idea,

REPEAT STEPS 4 THROUGH 8 in an unceasing manner.

Regular evaluation of your strategies is also inevitable.

Let me quickly recapitulate the processes for easy memorability. We started with,

Identifying your email marketing goals for you to be able to know what you want to achieve in your business with email marketing.

Then registering with a reputable email platform, before crafting and designing a responsive opt-in form.

Build an email list and start sending engageable contents to your lists.

Segmenting will help you channel your emails to the right audience with varying needs.

NEVER ever forget to test and measure your marketing success.

Which of these steps do you find more rigorous?

And how have you been utilizing email marketing to GROW your business?

Or you haven’t started yet?

Will be glad to know

BTW hope you got value from this post?

Please share if you did.

Khris Steven

My mission is to equip and arm you with the precise marketing tools, resources, strategies, and tactics to help you make IMPACT, SERVE more and (of course) EXPLODE your income so you can live life on your own terms.

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